Wednesday, March 20, 2013

President's Weekly Letter #28

(1 Nephi 18:1)

Belgium/Netherlands Mission


The Mission has a Strategic Plan.  The Strategic Plan maximizes the results of our efforts and keeps everyone pulling in the same direction.  Industry and businesses around the world do strategic planning because it works.  It works in the Mission too.  From time to time, individual missionaries and groups of missionaries in Districts and Zones will focus on and develop parts of the strategic plan.  The steps of a strategic plan include the development of a group Vision, Purpose, Values, Plans, Goals and Individual Accountability.  This is done to focus all energy and efforts of the missionaries towards one central objective and to enhance growth and progress in specific areas of need.  Individual or group Vision, Purpose, Values, Plans and Goals must by consistent with and in alignment with the Mission Vision. 

Vision is your clearly defined view of the future. “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18) The more accurate the description is of the future, the better.  To assure all missionaries are working together toward the Mission Vision, your personal or group Vision must be in alignment with and/or a subset of the Mission Vision.  Everyone’s efforts at all times must push toward the common Mission Vision. 

Purpose is called the Mission Statement by many organizations. This describes your reason for existing and is a guide to all your actions every day.  Therefore, individual or group Purpose will always be the same as or a subset to the Mission Purpose.  In any event, your purpose should always result in moving you toward the personal or group vision and the common Mission Vision.

Values are shared attributes or beliefs internalized among the missionaries that ultimately define our Mission culture.  These values, therefore, that define who we are as people, provide the framework in which all decisions are made by missionaries.  Values are actual attributes of the missionaries and do not change. 

Plans are the strategy or road map of the path chosen to move toward the end vision.  Plans are programs, procedures, plans and activities that you engage to accomplish your work and move you toward the personal or group vision and the common Mission Vision. 

Goals are established by individual missionaries for themselves or as a group for Districts or Zones.  Goals define specific steps in the Plan.  Goal-setting ideally involves establishing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-targeted (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives.  Goals should always be in alignment with and take you toward the personal or group vision and the common Mission Vision.

Individual Accountability is fundamental in God’s eternal plan.  Approach your goal setting and planning with the idea that you will account for your efforts to your mission leaders and the Lord through prayer.  Accept full responsibility for your efforts.  Never blame others for difficult circumstances or lack of progress.  Individual accountability brings power and is the crowning action to the whole process.

I have always been a proponent of strategic planning.  The act of planning and goal setting in written form usually by itself will propel you well down the road toward your desired result.  The work to prepare a strategic plan for the Mission is already done in PMG and has been further developed in various Zone Conferences.  Our Mission Vision is clear and concise.  Our Purpose is recited in every conference and training.  Our Values are covered in PMG Chapter 6.  Plans are rolled out in Zone Conference, Trainings and District Trainings.  The Missionary Planner is used for Goal setting in the work and we should add our personal Goals.  It is our personal responsibility to account for our efforts.   We do not have the time for nor need to reinvent the entire wheel, but understanding the process will greatly aid you in your planning and goal setting activities.  Next week the complete Mission strategic plan will be laid out here.  The above instruction should serve as a guide to all of us in the process of our personal or group planning, goal setting and reporting of results.

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